By Chris Williams: The World Boxing Organization recently stripped their unbeaten super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux for him having failed to defend the belt in 11 months.
The vacant WBO 122lb title will be on the line this Friday night for the clash between #1 WBO Cesar Juarez (17-3, 13 KOs) and #2 WBO Nonito Donaire (35-3, 23 KOs) at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Donaire, 33, has lost 2 out of his last 6 fights, and is a very poor option to be fighting for a world title after his defeats to Rigondeaux and Nicholas Walters. By stripping Rigondeaux and letting the guy that he easily beat just two years ago, the WBO is putting their organization in the position where they could wind up with a much weaker champion than the one they had when Rigondeaux was holding the title.
“As expected, WBO announces that Friday’s @filipinoflash-Cesar Juarez fight will be for organization’s vacant 122 world title. #boxing,” Dan Rafael said on his Twitter.
Juarez, 24, is an even worse candidate for the WBO’s 122lb title, as he’s previously been beaten by Hugo Partida, Jorge Lara and Edgar Lozano. Juarez has done nothing to deserve the #1 WBO ranking that he’s currently holding with the WBO. Juarez’s recent controversial 8 round decision win over Cesar Ceda appears to be the reason for him getting the No.1 ranking with the WBO.
That fight should have been a 12 round fight rather than an 8 rounder, and Juarez should have had to fight someone better than the guys he’s been fighting to get the ranking.
Donaire will likely win the WBO title and wind up being seen as a paper champion. It would be nice if Donaire volunteered to fight Rigondeaux to try and clear up his one-sided loss to him, but I don’t see that happening. Donaire’s 84-year-old promoter Bob Arum will likely never let him fight Rigondeaux ever again.
I think it was a really bad experience for Arum the last time that Donaire and Rigondeaux fought, because the loss for Donaire really took the wind out of the sails of his pro career. Donaire still hasn’t gotten his career back to where it was before his one-sided loss to Rigondeaux, and beating the little known Juarez with his inflated resume won’t do anything to make boxing fans forget about his loss to the Cuban star or to Nicholas Walters.
It’s like that Arum will look to match Donaire up against the winner of the Scott Quigg vs. Carl Frampton unification fight in 2016. Rigondeaux, who is seen as the best fighter in the 122lb division by many boxing fans, will probably be locked out of a fight against any of those guys, especially against Donaire. No way do I see Arum letting Donaire get schooled a second time by Rigondeaux, because the way that he was beaten by him suggests that the will always get beaten by him no matter how many times they fight.
In other news, Arum will be announcing Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent this Friday on the Donaire-Juarez card on truTV. The name that is being mentioned by boxing fans is WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley in what would be a third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley.
You’ve got to wish Pacquiao and Arum good luck in trying to sell that fight to the boxing public. Even if they load up the undercard with top fighters, which seriously they will do, I doubt the Pacquiao-Bradley fight will do more than 400,000 PPV buys on HBO. I know their two previous fights have brought in between 800,000 to 900,000 PPV buys, but I see there being diminishing returns this time around.
It’s like when you play a movie at a theater for a month or so. Initially, people are interested in seeing it, but after a while people lose interest and stop coming out to see it. Finally, they just wish the theater will get a new movie and quit wasting time advertising something that people have already seen before.
It would better for Pacquiao to fight anyone else at this point as long as they’re someone new, and someone the boxing public actually cares about seeing on PPV. I don’t personally see Bradley as a PPV fighter, so I don’t have any interest at all in paying to see Pacquiao-Bradley 3. Maybe if Arum makes it a complimentary showing where it’s free, I might want to see it, but other than that, I can’t see myself paying to see a third fight between these two old timers.